What To Know Before Buying Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank ASA (OB:VVL) For Its Dividend

Could Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank ASA (OB:VVL) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to a company for its dividend. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it’s important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

A high yield and a long history of paying dividends is an appealing combination for Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank. It’s likely that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett’s two rules: 1) Don’t lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We’ll run through some checks below to help with this.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis
OB:VVL Historical Dividend Yield, April 22nd 2019
OB:VVL Historical Dividend Yield, April 22nd 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. So we need to be form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 37% of Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher dividend.

We update our data on Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank’s dividend payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having fallen by at least 20% one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was øre1.80 in 2009, compared to øre7.50 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 15% a year over that time. Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank’s dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn’t grown 15% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.

It’s not great to see that the payment has been cut in the past. We’re generally more wary of companies that have cut their dividend before, as they tend to perform worse in a downturn.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it’s even more important to see if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Why take the risk of a dividend getting cut, unless there’s a good chance of bigger dividends in future? It’s good to see Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank has been growing its earnings per share at 11% a year over the past 5 years. Earnings per share have been growing at a good rate, and the company is paying less than half its earnings as dividends. We generally think this is an attractive combination, as it permits further reinvestment in the business.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. We’re glad to see Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. In summary, we’re unenthused by Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank as a dividend stock. It’s not that we think it is a bad company; it simply falls short of our criteria in some key areas.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Voss Veksel- og Landmandsbank management tenure, salary, and performance.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.